The first blockbuster of the A-League Men season is featuring in round 1 as Sydney FC host Melbourne Victory in the Big Blue at the redeveloped Allianz Stadium.
Both rivals will be looking to get their season off to a perfect start in front of an estimated crowd of around 25,000 at the Moore Park venue.
Sydney FC will unveil the likes of Jack Rodwell, Joe Lolley and Robert Mak, while Melbourne Victory will feature former Man Utd superstar Nani and reigning Johnny Warren Medallist Jake Brimmer.
A victory for either side could set the tone for the entire season, with Victory second-favourite to win the A-League Men championship behind Melbourne City, while Sydney FC are on the fourth line of betting.
How to watch Sydney FC vs. Melbourne Victory
|Date||Saturday, October 8||Saturday, October 8|
|Time||19:45 AEDT||21:45 NZDT|
|TV channel||Channel 10||Sky Sport|
|Streaming||10 Play, Paramount+||Sky Sport NOW|
New Zealand: This match is expected to be broadcast on Sky Sport in New Zealand with a stream shown on Sky Sport NOW.
Sydney FC vs. Melbourne Victory projected lineups and team news
Expect the Sky Blues to debut foreign trio Jack Rodwell, Joe Lolley and Robert Mak, with excitement surrounding the latter two to be deployed either side of Adam Le Fondre.
Rodwell will likely slot into an experienced midfield trio also featuring Anthony Caceres and Luke Brattan.
The defence and goalkeeper should look similar to last season with the only change likely to be Diego Caballo in for Joel King.
Sydney FC’s projected lineup (4-3-3): Redmayne (GK) – Grant, Wilkinson, Donachie, Caballo – Brattan, Rodwell, Caceres – Mak, Lolley, Le Fondre
Melbourne Victory will unveil superstar Nani in attack alongside last season revelation Nick D’Agostino and the talented Ben Folami.
The central midfield should be the same three experienced trio from the previous campaign – Jake Brimmer, Josh Brillante and Rai Marchan – with the midfield battle expected to be pivotal.
With Jason Geria injured and Jason Davidson departed, it will be a different look at full back with Stefan Nigro and Kike Cadete likely to start, while George Timotheou crosses over from Adelaide
Melbourne Victory’s projected starting lineup (4-3-3): Izzo (GK) – Nigro, Miranda, Timotheou, Kike – Marchan, Brillante, Brimmer – Nani, Folami, D’Agostino
Sydney FC vs. Melbourne Victory betting odds and prediction
Melbourne Victory thrashed Sydney FC 4-1 on the road in the final regular season round of last campaign – a humiliation that is likely to be fresh in the mind of the Sky Blues players and supporters.
The worrying factor for Sydney FC is their defence has a similar look to last season, with the team missing the finals for the first time since 2015-16.
Victory’s own defence could be a weak point with only Roderick Miranda a fixture recently.
The match will likely come down to the impact from the superstars on the field, which is how it should be, with all eyes likely to be on a Portuguese superstar Nani.
There will be interest in the abilities of Robert Mak and Joe Lolley, who come with strong pedigree, but it looks as if the Victory are stronger, while the Sky Blues season will depend on their impact of their signings.
Prediction: Melbourne Victory 2-1.
|Sydney FC to win||2.40|
|Melbourne Victory to win||2.70|
|Both teams to score Y/N||1.57/2.25|
|Over/Under 2.5 goals||1.75/2.02|
*Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes and correct as of October 4.
Sydney FC vs. Melbourne Victory head-to-head results
|May 7, 2022||Sydney FC 1-4 Melbourne Victory||A-League Men|
|January 25, 2022||Melbourne Victory 2-2 Sydney FC||A-League Men|
|May 19, 2021||Sydney FC 2-0 Melbourne Victory||A-League Men|
|April 27, 2021||Sydney FC 1-0 Melbourne Victory||A-League Men|
|April 4, 2021||Melbourne Victory 0-3 Sydney FC||A-League Men|
|March 7, 2020||Melbourne Victory 1-4 Sydney FC||A-League Men|